Every year as fall rolls around, a new hunting season begins. The early season can be a mix of hot, warm, and cool temperatures but eventually, as the calendar flips into November winter and snow are inevitably on their way. This will give many hunters challenges that they haven’t had to face yet this season. There are even many hunters that opt to stay home instead of braving the colder weather.
Here are our six top tips for hunting in the snow.
You do not want to wake up the morning of a big hunt just to discover it has snowed several inches overnight. This will lead to panic, and you are sure to forget something essential.
If you have checked the weather forecast ahead of time and know the snow is coming, you can get all your essential gear gathered up and ready to go.
Dress in layers. I’m sure you’ve heard this before, but this is so important that it cannot be overstressed. Having the versatility to add or remove a layer can make the difference between spending all day in the field or coming in hours ahead of time to get comfortable.
Wear a hood. I always make sure my mid-layer or jacket has a hood of some type on it. There is nothing worse than having snow down your neck. On really cold or extra windy days, I opt to wear a balaclava. By covering my head, neck, and face, the warmth is kept against my body.
Many times, when it is snowing, the wind is also blowing. Being in an open, elevated stand may not be the warmest option. Being in the cover of a blind will likely extend your bow hunting session. The blind will block out the snowfall and wind, helping to shield you from the elements.
A small, portable heater may also be used to aid in staying warm.
It is always important to keep your body fueled but never more than when hunting in the snow. Consuming the extra calories will help your body stay warm. I am sure we all have our favorite hunting snacks but mine are jerky, trail mix, nuts, and snack cakes.
Another food hack is taking some hot soup in a thermos. It is amazing how a cup full of warm chicken noodles can make you feel. It can really knock the shivers off.
Are you noticing a pattern here? Anything you can do to stay warm and comfortable is a plus when it comes to snow hunting.
I have used both the hot hands and the newer rechargeable style, as well. Both have their applications. I like the disposable ones for my boots while the rechargeables work well in my pockets and hand muff.
It is important to moderate these if you can. If you plan to stay out all day, you don’t want to use up all your hand warmers in the first two hours of your sitting.
This is one of my favorite things to do in the snow. You can dress lightly and still be pretty comfortable while walking.
Many times, game will hunker down in the snow. They will also be easier to spot with snow on the ground. A good tactic is to slowly walk old trails or roads while scanning out ahead for spooked or bedded game.
I have two particular favorite spots for this type of hunting. One is where I can sneak along and watch the hillside below me. Many times, I have snuck up on a bedded herd of deer that had no idea I was there. The second is a lower trail where I can not only watch out ahead of me but also on both sides of the hollow. This allows me to cover more area at one time, but many times it will involve jumping the deer and hoping they stop at some point to offer a shot opportunity.
I hope some of these tips will help you to be successful the next time you have the hunt in the snow. Anything you can do to not only get out in the snow but also stay out there will help increase your chances of having a successful hunt and season. Being able to take what nature throws at you will make you a better hunter and improve your chances of success.